Halestorm is one of the best bands to come on to the scene in the last 12 years. Fronted by the powerhouse, Lzzy Hale, the band brings it heavy and has no apologies for anything they do. The songs can be hard, almost thrash and the next minute they can be soft and beautiful and then everything in between. The songs are melodic at times and Lzzy can deliver the goods vocally. Joe Hottinger on guitar is sensational and it is nice to see that the guitar still matters in rock music as his sound is what I really love about the band. Then rounding out the rhythm section is Josh Smith on bass and Arejay Hale on drums and both are the driving force behind the band.
The heavier the band gets, the better for me and my ranking might reflect that so sorry but that is what I love about them. I know they only have 4 studio albums so far, but they need to be heard and ranked. To compensate for that shortfall on studio albums, I will rank their 3 Covers EP that they have done in their ‘Reanimate Series’ of albums. That way you hopefully feel like you are getting your money’s worth stopping by here…wait…you aren’t paying to come so I guess no matter I do, you get your money’s worth. Good to know.
So without further ramblings on and on about nothing, let’s get to the rankings.
For My Sunday Song #233, we are discussing the song “Painkiller” by the band Halestorm. The song is off their 2018 album ‘Vicious’ which went to #8 on the Billboard 200 Album chart. The album produced 5 singles, however, this was not one of them. This is a deep cut that is one of my favorite songs on the album. The song was written by Lzzy Hale, Joe Hottinger and Scott Stevens who helped write the song “Mz. Hyde”.
The song doesn’t really have any deep meaning. It focuses on how you get so in to a person that you become addicted to them. They take all the pain away and make you feel so good. You end up craving them, wanting them ever second. You can never get enough of them. The become the drug to feed your addiction. Simple enough.
Musically, the song is so freaking heavy. Josh Smith’s bass is a beast as it lays down this nasty bass line. Arejay Hale’s drum sound is immense and sounds like an explosive cloud of thunder and is only missing the lightning. But I guess the guitar work by Joe would be the lightning as it flashes in with some nasty riffs. Lzzy’s vocals are strong, powerful and one of the best vocalist in the rock scene today. She sings on this with that addict intensity and is what the song needs to take it over the top. It is brilliant.
‘Vicious’ really sums up this album. Halestorm come at you with full force and don’t let up the entire album. From the first single “Uncomfortable” I knew this would be great.
In a music scene that is lacking bonafide Rock Stars, Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale fits that bill perfectly. That voice and the fuck you attitude place her in realm most singers only wish they could achieve. She isn’t one-dimensional either. Her style and vocal delivery change up throughout and the album is never boring.
The band’s songs are loud, heavy, rowdy, dark and at times very sexual (“Do Not Disturb” and “Conflicted” in particular). It takes the line of Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll and takes it up a notch. Musically, the band hits it on all cylinders with great guitar solos, nasty bass lines and explosive drumming especially on songs like “Painkiller”, “Black Vultures”, “White Dress” and “Skulls”. On “The Silence”, Lzzy’s voice is channeling Ann Wilson (one of the greatest voices in rock).